My opponent fielded: Vlad1, Drago, Andrei Malakov, Conquest, IFP (10+Black Dragon UA), 2 Mortar Crews, Battle Mechanics (4), Drakhun, Eiryss2. Armory objective.
We played the Two Fronts SR2015 scenario. I won the initiative and opted to go first, which may or may not have been a smart move. From the point of view of scenario, it helped me. But from the point of view of attrition, it was bad. I took a real beating in the second turn. We nearly called it, but I said "let's play it out and see what I can do", since I feel that learning to dig out from a desperate situation is a key skill in this game. So what happened? Well ran Ol Rowdy up to the corner of my zone near Vlad, Drago and Andrei, and then cleared my zone and destroyed his objective, putting me at 2 control points, but my Ironclad was destroyed, my Stormblades down to a single man, my Stormclad continuing to be disrupted by Eiryss, and my Hammersmith on the far flank mostly out of all the action. And then a miracle happened. Due to timing, Vlad went first and move over. This allowed Rowdy to countercharge in to melee with him. I missed the attack, but the danger was now in play. Henry then charged in with Drago and tried to take out Rowdy but failed to disable any important systems. Andrei then fled over behind the Conquest and he tried to get a crit devastation against his own Drago using Conquest to clear Rowdy. Fortunately this failed and that left him in a very bad position. On my turn I walked the Stormclad around to Andrei, taking a brutal free strike from the Conquest but surviving, and struck down Andrei with a single strike. Next Rowdy used his quake attack and knocked down both Vlad and Drago, and then proceeded to take 2 more hammer swings against Vlad. After that, Jakes' charger then advanced and put two shots into Vlad and finished him off.
Lessons learned: First, always play a game through, no matter what. Learning how to deal with what appears to be a desperate situation is valuable, and likewise, not starting to panic when your opponent makes a desperate maneuver is also valuable. Second, Rowdy with Arcane Shield is crazy business. Third, I learned that I personally feel more comfortable when my army contains multiple ranged options. It's just my play style, but it's good to know what my thought processes reach for when I'm trying to calculate my options each turn.
Games this year: 21